Creating an experimental, modulated drone
The MiniBrute’s new patchbay is great for building complex free-running modulated drones
Start with all controls set to zero, then raise the Square Wave slider. Since this is a drone patch, we want a continuous tone, so raise Att 2 > Amp to around 12 o’clock. Trigger a lower octave note (somewhere around C2) to create a low drone.
Let’s add movement. First we’ll use Pulse Width modulation. Set both Pulse Width and PWM to around the 1 o’clock mark. Now set LFO 1 to Free mode, select a Sine wave and lower the rate. Let’s also lower the LPF cutoff to around 12 o’clock and add a bit of resonance.
Let’s use the AD envelope to add movement to the filter. Patch one end of a lead into the into the Amp’s AM input, but leave the other end unpatched. This breaks the routing from the AD to the Amp. Then patch AD Out to Filter FM and turn the filter FM rotary two thirds to the right.
We want to create a looping AD envelope to trigger the filter. Set the envelope controls to Trigger and Loop. Now adjust the Attack and Decay – this will change the rate of the modulation, like an LFO. We can take this further by modulating the envelope’s decay.
Patch LFO 2 Out to AD’s Decay in. Now experiment with different envelope Attack and Decay settings, along with the rate and shape of the LFO. By doing this we can achieve some interesting rhythmic filter modulation. For more unpredictable results, try using the other LFO (or Osc 2) to also modulate the AD’s attack.
Take this patch further by experimenting with other settings: try band pass or notch filter modes instead of the LPF. Dialling in some white noise works well, as does adding a second oscillator tuned to an octave below Osc 1, or a fifth above it.